The Driver’s waiting for a fare–but NOT IN NICE! You can’t “hail a cab” in Nice. It’s against the law. Call them from your hotel or find them at their clearly marked taxi stations (outside hotels, etc). Be sure to take the first in line too!
Meanwhile, headlines across Europe proclaim: “Taxis sow traffic chaos in Europe protesting against Uber car app”. mounting one of the biggest protests ever against Uber, a U.S. car service whose smartphone app summons rides at the touch of a button.
Taxi drivers across Europe say Uber breaks local taxi rules, violates licensing and safety regulations and its drivers fail to comply with local insurance rules. Uber, backed by investors such as Goldman Sachs and Google, refutes that criticism and argues it complies with all local regulations. “What you are seeing today is an industry that has not faced competition for decades,” said Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, Uber’s Regional General Manager for Europe.
It is not often I get to see both sides of a news story: international TV and news story AND the local drama being played out. Watched taxi’s drive by my office at a “crawl”, blocking both traffic lanes. Saw the hate signs against “VTC’s” “Véhicules de Transport avec Chauffeur” (transport vehicles with driver). Watched them shut down the Promenade des Anglais with a huge smoky fire of old tires. Don’t blame them, these folks have an investment of €300,000 (about $400,000) with vehicle, license, permit, radio, etc.
Maybe these drivers should be smashing copies of Google Chrome on the pavement and frying up Goldman Sachs brokers.
WOW It Is Spreading
August 15, 2014
Berlin taxi drivers were celebrating Thursday after authorities banned the ridesharing service Uber from operating in the city because of safety concerns.
In a decree Wednesday, Berlin authorities said they wouldn’t tolerate Uber putting customers at risk by allowing them to ride in cars that hadn’t been checked, and with drivers who weren’t vetted or properly insured. The argument echoes that of established cab companies who claim Uber’s app-based services, which offer limousines and pickups by private drivers, dodge rules that ordinary taxi firms have to abide by.
“I’ve got no problem with anyone who plays by the same rules as everyone else and shows that they can do it better,” said Richard Leipold, head of the Berlin Taxi Association. “There are plenty of apps on the market in Berlin that do just that.”
Fabien Nestmann, general manager for Uber Germany, said the company intends to challenge the ban.
Berlin’s decision “is not progressive and it’s seeking to limit consumer choice for all the wrong reasons,” Nestmann said. “As a new entrant we’re bringing much-needed competition to a market that hasn’t changed in years.”
The San Francisco-based company, which has received financial backing from Google, said it remains open to dialogue with authorities and rivals.
Wednesday’s ban, which comes with the threat of a 25,000-euro ($33,400) fine for non-compliance, follows a separate Berlin court ruling in April that Uber’s limousine service breaks the law. The Berlin Taxi Association, which had brought the case, didn’t ask the court to enforce that ban because it wanted to wait for possible appeals, Leipold said.
“Those legal proceedings are still underway, but I’m confident they will end in our favor,” he said.
Uber has faced opposition from taxi drivers and authorities in several cities worldwide. According to its website the company operates in four other German cities: Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Duesseldorf.